Nigerian maritime authorities launch probe into offshore wellhead fire


The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has sent an investigative team to unravel the circumstances surrounding a recent fire incident at a wellhead offshore Ondo State.

The incident, which occurred on Friday, May 15, involved a barge belonging to Michharry and Company Nigeria, an offshore and onshore facilities provider for the oil and gas industry.

The officers from NIMASA’s Maritime Safety and Seafarers Standard Department (MSSSD) and Marine Environment Management (MEM) Department would conduct both on-the-spot assessment and a detailed analysis of the incident.

NIMASA has also advised mariners and other maritime stakeholders to steer clear of the areas affected by the fire for their own safety and to aid the investigative and remediation work at the location, Ororo1, in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 95. The site is a Chevron platform sold to local investors.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the barge JUV Bellaton, owned by Michharry and operated by Guarantee Petroleum, had been working on the offshore oil rig Grace-1 HWU when it experienced leakages of gas and oil, which were followed by a fire outbreak at the wellhead location.

There was no reported pollution following degenerative status of the platform due to the fire.

All crew were evacuated safely, and firefighters were engaged by the company to try to put out the blaze.

NIMASA is working with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) on the incident investigation, in line with a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two agencies.

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